Getting vaccinated… again

Recovery in progress

Last week, I had my first jab of Biontech, which is great, except I have been fully vaccinated with Sinovac before leaving The Philippines. But as the politics of Covid-19 vaccines goes, I am legally unvaccinated here, since Germany, like most European countries, does not recognize the China-made vaccine.

Some physicians and majority of the population have not even heard of Sinovac and have no idea what it is! Very interesting since this is the most available and widely used vaccine in my side of the world.

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12 things about my new life in Germany, so far

The day I flew to Germany, there was a storm, flooding, and two earthquakes from where I lived in The Philippines. One could say the universe tried really hard to stop me, or just recognize nature being nature in crisis, alternatively.

I have been staying in Germany a month now, and slowly, I can feel my mind and body decompressing. About damn time.

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You can take the Asian out of Asia but you cannot take Asia out of the Asian

I am recovering from jetlag, dear friends, and yes, I crossed continents in this pandemic time. Not easy. I will tell you more in a separate post. Today, I just want to show signs of life lest you think I have disappeared forever into the void of the internet!

We are in Germany. Far from the tiny house, far from the beach, far from our plants, far from the sun and humidity. It is summertime here to the lovely tune of 15 C. I know I do not need to tell you I brought the wrong clothes.

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Fruits, vegetables, and a slice of the family farm

It has been gray and wet the past days, just like a nice summer day in London. A passing storm intensifies the monsoon and the sun has not appeared for awhile. The plants at our family farm do not seem to mind. At least, the ones that were not bowled over by the winds.

The corn seems to be doing well despite some damaged patches . I imagine there will be a harvest in a couple of months. It is nice to see this crop thrive here. We tried to grow them last year on the tiny house plot but the rain decimated them all.

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Practical yoga lessons that go beyond the mat

In October, Markus and I would be yoga teachers for three years. Isn’t that cool? Since the pandemic started, there have been no yoga retreats for us but we cultivate the practice at home and continue to learn more about life through it. Today, I thought I would share a few useful lessons on the mat that easily translate to more wellness off the mat.

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All the positivity you sent is working

Thank you, Janis!

I am feeling a lot better these past two weeks. I can finish my sentences without pause and walk without running out of breath. Doing nothing, relaxing the mind, and all your well-wishes helped a lot. And the medications, of course.

Thank you very much for your thoughtfulness. You were all so kind. It was overwhelming. I did not expect that. And the tiny house mail I received from Janis was the loveliest surprise. Many thanks! Much appreciated. I loved it and it made me feel cared for. Blog friends are the best. How can one not get better?

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Lately, I’m obsessed with

I turn to food when I am happy, sad, relaxed, hormonal, stressed, tired, and so on. Food is good. I do not need to be hungry to eat. It is not the healthiest attitude in the world but it is sure one I believe in.

This love of food I inherited from my mother, who is an incredible homecook with a stomach that knows no floor or ceiling. For better or worse. Following are food that I have been obsessing over lately. Consider this your munchies trigger warning!

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I want to relax but plastic gives me anxiety

Our eating area.

I watch a couple of cafe vlogs on YouTube for relaxation. One is focused on making hot and cold coffee drinks while the other features gorgeous bread and sandwiches.

The preparation of all these nice food entertain me – the sounds, colors, ingredients, and attention to detail are inspiring – but there is one aspect to this process that digs at my soul every time: the prolific use of plastic.

Container upon container, order upon order, it is one plastic on top of another plastic that is on top of one more plastic (Don’t click the links, Michelle. I worry it will give you angina).

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Disease, dis-ease, di-seased

Let me close June by saying it decisively won over me: my lung situation has gotten so bad I am taking medications I have not needed in years, I am at record weight, and a dread is constantly gripping at me as I fear the return of my really dark times from a lifetime ago.

I am scared, swollen from scalp to toe, literally shaking, and working for every breath. I cannot walk from my bed to the toilet without toil and I talk. like. this. to catch. my breath. Always tired. In pain even when I am just sat.

I am lucky I have the best healthcare available to me from home. If I go to the hospital, I would immediately be sent to isolation to rule out COVID-19. But this predates the pandemic and it will inherit my body in a post-COVID world.

It hurts to be in this situation, physically and spiritually. Every day is a reminder of how I failed to take care of myself, how I failed to protect myself. It is really hard sometimes because I can only control so much. Despite my best efforts, stress has reached my shores, if not unfairly, and here I am burning like Troy.

The problem is I do not recover quickly – I never have. The top pulmonologist in the region has looked after me for over a decade and she still hates me today because “I cannot make you well.” This, even after the best management and a solar system of medications. I guess it is just me.

Of course, life goes on. I am decisively but not completely defeated. I allow myself this small space to explore my negative feelings but no more. At least for today. I will continue to be hopeful and more important, learn from this experience.

The sun will shine tomorrow and there will be more cups of tea. I will probably not be okay, but even that, too, is okay. Someone grind a grilled dead lizard into powder. Maybe that does it.

In between the pages, our lives

Books and masala chai is heaven

This year’s resolution has definitely rekindled my entombed fascination with books and I can only be grateful.

Every day, I hold books close to me, savor a few pages, and make new connections or rediscover old ones – very helpful for a fuzzy, heavily medicated brain of late.

Of course, this is far from my supercharged reading from way back when, but it gives me joy to return to the book lover side of the fence. Isn’t it wild how books are just always there, ready to take us back no matter how long we put them down?

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